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Maternity Leave

(16 Posts)
littlecrumb Thu 07-Nov-13 14:08:35

Hi I am 30 weeks pregnant and thinking of starting my maternity leave at 34 weeks. I work in retail and will be really demanding over Christmas. Basically, I was hoping for some advice on whether anyone thinks this is too early to begin my maternity leave? How did/do you feel at 34 weeks? I know mostly everyone is different but would like a rough idea. I need to give my employer 28 days notice so that means telling them today or tomorrow if that's when I would like to finish.

justamouse Thu 07-Nov-13 14:10:42

Hello, I'm 35 weeks this week and exhausted at work by lunchtime and all I have to do is sit at a desk and translate things. I'm starting my mat leave in two weeks, which with hindsight, was a little over ambitious! I wouldn't say 34 weeks is too early, listen to your body and let it decide how you feel!

GlitterFingers Thu 07-Nov-13 14:11:11

Do it! I'm in retail management and had to give up at 34 weeks I was so tired and useless they were glad to see the back of me grin

greentshirt Thu 07-Nov-13 14:14:53

I don't think it's too early and what a great time of year to be off! The only thing id say though is to consider the package, if you don't get long paid or whatever is it really worth finishing early or would you prefer the time 'on the other side' so to speak?!

ILoveCwtches Thu 07-Nov-13 14:20:48

I went on my Maternity Leave at 34 weeks. I was planning on going at 37/38 but the office I worked in was closed at very short notice (local authority budget cuts). I hate the alternative employment I would have had to do so I took all my remaining leave and started maternity after that.

For me it was great as I'd struggled with morning sickness all the way through and was fed up of dragging myself to work. The alternative role would have been too stressful to take on at that point, so I was glad of the escape. Is also done nothing towards preparing our flat for the baby due to feeling so rough, so I had plenty of time to have a final clear out!

You need to take into account going back to work, though. By going earlier you obviously will have to go back earlier. I'm lucky, in that I am able to use all my accrued annual leave to mean that I don't have to return until dd is 10 months old, as I'm going back part time. It has cost me about half a month's wages though, as going early meant my pay decreased drastically before dd was even born!

Make sure you can afford to leave now and it not mean you having to go back before you'd like. If that's the case, enjoy the time off before your baby arrives and good luck! grin

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Thu 07-Nov-13 14:25:20

I worked to 36 weeks with DC1 and 37 weeks with DC2. I only managed that because I had lots of discretion over my working day, could spend half of it at my desk, and had begun to hand over a couple of weeks previously. I also used annual leave to drop one day a week about a month beforehand. No way would I have got past 34 weeks in a more physically demanding role TBH.

littlecrumb Thu 07-Nov-13 14:37:22

Thanks for the advice! This has helped. I am planning on not returning to work at all after as I would like to be a full time mum for as long as possible. If I go back it will only be for 1 or 2 days a week.

littlecrumb Thu 07-Nov-13 14:46:24

So this being the case, do you think I should leave at 34 weeks?

Rockchick1984 Thu 07-Nov-13 14:54:35

Definitely - I've worked many years in retail and would have really struggled doing a Christmas while heavily pregnant!

greentshirt Thu 07-Nov-13 15:11:16

Yes definitely! No need to put yourself through it if you don't need to! Enjoy! smile x

littlecrumb Thu 07-Nov-13 15:25:39

Thanks all! smile I have spoken to my boss and confirmed it. Wow only 4 weeks to go, that's rather scary isn't it?!

SadPander Thu 07-Nov-13 16:37:28

I'm 34 weeks on Monday and I feel fine. However I'm sat at a desk all day and can see that if I was on my feet instead I would probably not be feeling so great. You do start to feel really tired (like you did in the early days) and this will be tough if you have a physically demanding job or long hours. Could they give you any lighter or different duties so that you weren't on your feet all day so that you could keep going a little longer and then enjoy more time off after baby is born?

I don't think 34 weeks is too early though, I'm just thinking you might not want to use up too much leave before the baby is here.

SadPander Thu 07-Nov-13 16:38:32

Oops sorry you've already made your decision! Enjoy the count down to maternity leave, will be a lovely time of year to be off work and getting excited about your baby smile

Stom91 Thu 07-Nov-13 16:52:01

I worked in retail and I admire you for still being there.
I started may leave at 29 weeks.
But I have a back condition prior to pregnancy. I just could do it anymore.
I start at 34 weeks then you've got plenty of time to yourself before baby comes and no worries about travelling as it's starting to get dark and cold x

emmac3616 Thu 07-Nov-13 19:02:22

I'm 34+3 and going on Mat Leave at 36 weeks... I wish I wasn't as I feel OK and am worried I'll be bored... though I am totally unprepared (no bags packed etc) so should be able to keep busy! :-)

littlecrumb Thu 07-Nov-13 19:08:34

Thanks SadPanda, I am rather glad it's Christmas time that I have off as it means I can actually enjoy it and feel relaxed before it all kicks off! In retail you are lucky to get 1 day off (Christmas day) let alone weeks! Sale prep, Queues to the back of the shop and stressed out customers will be too much being heavily pregnant I think.

Stom91 - Totally agree about the dark and cold nights!

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